Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Post columnist Cuozzo slams plaza design, blames elected officials but saves wrath for activist Goldstein

New York Post columnist Steve Cuozzo, in Monstrosity of a design only a mugger could love, takes aim at the design unveiled yesterday but saves his greatest wrath for the Atlantic Yards opposition.

He writes:
Dem bums!

What a travesty in the name of bringing Brooklyn its first major-league team since the Dodgers left. Sure, the Barclays Center Plaza shown yesterday by developer Bruce Ratner is an improvement over today's barren site.

But it's still so singularly malevolent in its ugliness, it might actually rehabilitate Walter O'Malley's reputation.

You don't need a degree in architecture to hate the triangular mugging ground of "environmentally conscious landscaping, intimate seating areas" and a goofy, planted-roof subway entrance -- a "flexible open space" more conducive to hosting a Crips-Bloods scrimmage than the intended upscaling of the neighborhood.

There are numerous villains behind the abomination, including city and state officials who winked at it after giving owner Bruce Ratner huge subsidies largely on the basis of the original, magnificent Frank Gehry design.
Actually, they didn't offer subsidies because of the design, though that certainly led to praise of the project. They expected housing, jobs, and new tax revenues, which always were inflated.

Blaming Goldstein

Cuozzo concludes:
But the chief culprit is Daniel Goldstein, the activist who held up Ratner's Atlantic Yards for as long as it took to score a $3 million payout to move out of its way.

Goldstein failed to stop the project in the end, but delayed it long enough for Ratner to lose any chance of financing Gehry's vision.
Right, it's all Goldstein's fault. No one else cared.

Was Gehry's vision ever finance-able? The initial plans were for four office towers around the arena. There wasn't a market in 2003 for such office jobs, and there isn't now.

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